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SBE slug barrel swap


jsev7757
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Just the barrel. If you don't already have any shotgun barrels, I'd suggest getting SBEII barrel(s) as your gun should already be set up for it, the availability is better, chokes are easier to find, etc. Also, since these have a longer receiver than standard shotguns, I'd recommend going a size shorter than you normally shoot. I.E. if you normally like a 28", then get a 26. If you normally shoot a 26", then get a 24". Watch for a used one as new ones are $550+ last I looked.

For anyone reading this later, the original SBE's in shotgun configuration will generally need a SBEII forearm or to modify their existing one as they are milled out more for the slug barrel and SBEII barrels than they were for the early SBE shotgun barrels. The area that needs modified is the lug behind the barrel ring is longer on SBEII and slug barrels than it is on the earlier ones.

In the picture below with the yellow and red markings of early SBE barrels I am noting some differences. Initially, there was a low vented rib on top (red arrow) of the barrel on the bottom and it also has the shorter recoil lug behind the barrel loop that goes behind the forearm. Compare this to the interim and SBEII barrels which have a much higher, pronounced vented rib and a longer recoil lug. To add even more confusion, there was a few made in this transitional period that have Mobil chokes instead of Crio chokes. So, there are some exceptions however, but use this as a general rule:
Low rib, short recoil lug, Mobil choke (threads at very end of muzzle) = SBE 1 barrel
High rib, long recoil lug, Crio chokes (threads ~3/4" down the barrel) = SBE 2 barrel

I have never looked to see if SBEIII barrels are still compatible since II are still in production.

Barrels with color indicators.jpg

Edited by bambihunter
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Thank you so much.   I have a m2 and I love it.  So when I had the chance to buy a sbe1 from the local pawn shop I jumped on it.  My only issue was it had a slug barrel on it.  But I figured I could just change the barrel.   So I did some digging around the internet and couldn't find very many sbe1 barrels.   So you helped me alot.  

One more question.   Are the chokes threads at the end of a sbe2 barrel or down inside a bit? 

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2 minutes ago, jsev7757 said:

And also what is a barrel extension cover?  I thought the cover was built onto the barrel?   Some help would be appreciated.   Thanks. 

Most shotgun barrels just wrap around the chamber but then that part slides into the receiver fully encapsulating it. On the SBE, the top half of the receiver IS the barrel extension which is part of the barrel once it is manufactured. It can be purchased separately, but that is only useful for gunsmiths as it has to be soldered on. When you field strip an SBE, you'll see how the bottom half with the magazine section, cartridge lift, trigger assembly, etc are still attach to the buttstock. But, the forearm and the barrel and the top half of the receiver are removed.
This might be the easiest way to show it:

In the picture below of my pair of HK SBE's, you'll see the barrels are lined up with where they would set on the guns. The part that is round is of course the barrel. Where it changes on the right side of the picture where it has the /----\ shape is the receiver extension.
 

SBE with text-small.jpg

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16 minutes ago, jsev7757 said:

Thank you so much.   I have a m2 and I love it.  So when I had the chance to buy a sbe1 from the local pawn shop I jumped on it.  My only issue was it had a slug barrel on it.  But I figured I could just change the barrel.   So I did some digging around the internet and couldn't find very many sbe1 barrels.   So you helped me alot.  

One more question.   Are the chokes threads at the end of a sbe2 barrel or down inside a bit? 

SBE1 (not really called 1, but people use it to differentiate from later versions) have the threads right at the end of the barrel. SBEII's and I believe all M2's use Crio chokes that are further down the barrel. When I added the picture to my first post, I added some text to clarify but if your M2 already has the higher rib and Crio chokes then I would definitely go with a SBEII barrel. You can look for a while before you'll find a SBE1 barrel. I bought the last couple of mine on Gunbroker.

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If you didn't get one, I'd suggest downloading the owners manual. The SBEII manual is close enough. There are a few things it has that the original doesn't have, but I can't think of anything the original has that II doesn't have other than maybe different materials in a couple places.

https://www.benelliusa.com/support/manuals?name=super+black+eagle

Also, original owners manuals do pop up for sale periodically on sites like eBay and Gunbroker for $10-$20. If it is a SBE1, it has a gold colored cover. There is one on eBay right now, but it's for the left hand model. Really, the only thing that is very different between these and your M2 for field stripping is separating the barrel. Be real slow and gentle pulling the barrel off at first. An extra set of hands the first couple of times isn't a bad idea. It is easy for them to release in a way that can make the receiver extension hit the receiver and leave a scratch. The bolt assembly can ride out and fall out too so watch that. Once you've done it a couple times, this gun is super easy to field strip. 

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Bambihunter thank you so much for taking the time to fill me in on some really useful info.   I will be getting a sbe2 barrel since I do have a pattern master turkey choke for my m2.  And I think you said my gun was already set up for one since it has a slug barrel on it.

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The SBE is a legendary shotgun PERIOD! It is the 3.5" shotgun that all semi-auto waterfowl and turkey guns are judged against. I use mine for everything that one needs a shotgun for. For 3.5", is mostly hunt geese with (in the past anyway). I do turkey hunt some, but it isn't the same when they come up and stand on our porch looking in at us. LOL The couple of aftermarket chokes I have and use are all 20-25 years old and likely not made anymore. I don't remember what they are. Honestly, I'd suggest before buying any, get a couple boxes of different ammo in the size of shot you want to use and pattern it. Grab a few large pieces of cardboard and set it up first at maybe 25 or 30 yards. If I remember right, on my SBE, I used to shoot 3.5"  4 shot. Make sure to check your local regulations as some locales have restrictions on both shot size and even type of shot (such as lead free).

Overall, I've always been impressed how tight the Benelli patterns are with the standard factory Mobil chokes. Supposedly the Crio are even better. In fact, though according to my calipers, they are in the industry range for each one, they seem to shoot tighter. In other words, I run skeet if I want IC type pattern. I run IC if normally I wanted Modified. I'd run Modified if I wanted full. Of course if you start shooting steel, then check the "Steel OK" rating on the chokes first. Now, as I get older, I mostly just do dove and quail with a very rare duck hunt thrown in. I haven't used above an IC choke for any of that. At first, my brother-in-law used to think I was being reckless with the distance he'd see me shoot dove. Then, he realized that I was dropping them with more regularity at 10+ yards more than him with the same choke (shooting out of the same case of ammo). We swapped guns and within just a few shots, we could both see the difference. I'd barely drop a feather with his at the range I was dropping them solidly with mine. It took him a little bit working up the distance to get comfortable, but pretty soon he realized he could as well, at least with my Benelli. He still shoots his gun since it was inherited from his father who died when he was young; but at least he now knows I wasn't being careless towards game.

 

Pics of some of our front porch guests. We do not feed them or anything. We think as these are generally the younger toms, that they like to see themselves in the glass leading up to, and during mating season. They'll stand in front of it and preen themselves, checking out their struts. The first picture, we had the door off the hinges and we were painting it. That turkey stood there for maybe a half hour watching as we moved around the house. It was quite funny. If we made any noises, it would gobble at us. 😄 We have some with ~10" beards, but they don't come clear up on the porch. You can see the spurs on the one in that top pic. They are decent size for such a small beard.

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Edited by bambihunter
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